Athletics Federation of Pakistan conducted three-day online classes on strength and endurance training in which 13 coaches from India, including Hyderabad-based SAI coach Nagapuri Ramesh, participated.
The course essentially focussed on ensuring intensity in preparations for the middle and long-distance events and on how to ensure the endurance level of the athletes, especially women.
"The course which ended today has been very useful though some of the subjects touched were pretty familiar for us. There are always some new points in training which we can pick as learning is a continuous process,” the 54-year-old Ramesh told Sportstar on Monday.
“The fact that the great Sebastian Coe formally launched the course and that many experts from Asian countries were there to conduct the classes was itself a testimony of the efficacy of such classes,” said Ramesh, who also trains Asian Games silver medallist Dutee Chand.
Reflecting on the lockdown training, Ramesh reveals even though most of his trainees are now ‘locked’ in their respective villages they are daily going through the physical conditioning exercises, often using the chores in the agricultural field as part of the routine.
For instance, Under-14 high jump gold medallist Pranay is touching 5.70 m in long jump consistently because he has to daily leap over a stream of water in his village in Adilabad and this is really helping him, Ramesh revealed
"So, most of the demanding tasks in agriculture are making these young athletes very tough mentally and physically,” he said.
"Even chief national badminton coach P. Gopichand and senior officialvof DRDO Srinivasa Rao, who is the mentor to our athletics training programmes, are surprised by the fearless training schedule and the positive energy these athletes are displaying,” the SAI coach said.
On Dutee, Ramesh says he is monitoring her training schedule daily with the Odisha Government. They are letting her use the entire athletics track in Bhubaneshwar to train. "She is being given all the facilities and the help of support staff to keep training,” he added.
However, Ramesh feels that the grim scenario can only be helpful to the young athletes but not to the senior athletes who may have at most one or two years in them if the Olympics are not held next year also.